Dodging Yellow Fever (Bariloche, Argentina, 2013)

Before leaving the US, we knew that it would be a good idea to get yellow fever shots. After all, we planned on going to tropical areas like Iguazu Falls (Northern Argentina) and Lima (Peru). Alas, we were lazy and disorganized, so we found ourselves still unvaccinated in San Carlos de Bariloche with just a few weeks to go before we traveled to warmer climes. Girish found  out that the main regional hospital provided vaccines on Fridays. We got up on the early side and prodded Doug, but he waved us off and muttered, “Next week’s better…”

So Girish and I headed off by ourselves, and we managed to mime and talk our way into fiebre amarillo shots. After taking down information from our passports, a secretary told us to return in an hour with the registration cards she handed to us.

When we returned, we sat in a waiting area. Our names were called at the same time, and we walked into a room where two nurses were preparing our syringes. They casually asked us our ages, probably to verify against the information we had provided earlier. Girish said he was 22. His nurse and I both looked at him quizzically, and then we got injected. Afterwards, as we ambled back to Las Moiras, I asked Girish how he could be 22, since I recalled once establishing that he was older than me (23 at the time). He said he was definitely 22, and then proceeded to do the calculation… he seemed astonished to learn that he was actually 23. Anyway, the quality of healthcare in Argentina is said to vary greatly, but the ease with which we obtained yellow fever vaccinations impressed me.


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